Civil Servant of the Week: FBSO’s Ron Skarpa
By Michael Sudhalter
If an alligator or snake shows up at a house, yard or public place, law enforcement strongly emphasizes that residents call them rather than dealing with it directly.
And if he’s on duty, there’s a good chance that Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office deputy Ron Skarpa will be among the deputies responding to the call.
“There’s a group of deputies who have fun (taming alligators),” Skarpa said. “We’ve done a couple of them, and it’s not really that big of a deal to us.”
Skarpa, an 18-year-veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, did say that a gator captured last week outside Beck Junior High in Katy was “the biggest and nastiest one” he’d seen on patrol.
“Officers who address alligators have to know the technique of catching them – it’s not that hard, but you have to be careful,” Skarpa said. “You rope them, and they do that death roll. It wears them out, and they can only fight for a couple of minutes.”
Skarpa said the deputies call the game warden, and assess the situation, depending on the severity and the game warden’s availability.
“It’s not something for (the public) to mess with,” Skarpa said.
Skarpa, 50, enjoys being a law enforcement officer, but he didn’t start in the profession right away.
A Rosenberg area native, Skarpa graduated from Lamar Consolidated High in 1982. He worked at a chemical plant and owned a remodeling company before deciding to attend the Gus George Law Enforcement Academy in 1996 at age 32.
“It’s something, I always wanted to do,” Skarpa said.
Skarpa worked as a detective in the Sheriff’s Burglary/Theft division from 2000 to 2004 but decided patrol was the best fit for him.
“It’s a lot less hassle,” Skarpa said. “You get to go home at the end of the day and not stress about cases.”
When asked why he loves law enforcement, Skarpa gave a straightforward answer –
“I like putting the bad guys in jail.”
In 2010, Skarpa and five of his fellow deputies were awarded the Silver Star for Bravery by the State of Texas for their heroic efforts in responding to a bank robbery.
“It’s the highest award that you can get and still be alive,” Skarpa said.
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